The Red Umbrella Fund is the first global fund guided by and for sex workers. The Red Umbrella Fund believes that change will only be achieved through strong, collaborative movements of sex workers advocating for their rights, with the support of their allies. Sex workers themselves are the best positioned to know what is needed for them, and best placed to do something about it. The Red Umbrella Fund exists to mobilise resources to help strengthen and sustain the movement in achieving human rights for sex workers.
Since its creation in 2012, the Red Umbrella Fund has made 63 grants to sex worker-led organisations and networks in 42 countries. They were selected by the sex worker-led Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) out of over 1600 applications during three rounds of applications (2012, 2013 and 2014).
The Fund provides opportunities and grants for sex worker-led organisations to strengthen their capacities, such as organisational development and management, programme development and implementation, resource mobilisation, advocacy and communication skills, and monitoring and evaluation.
The Red Umbrella Fund also raises visibility about the work of its grantees in key areas such as the recognition of sex work as work; the decriminalisation of sex work; universal access to health services for sex workers; and the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers.
In addition the Fund raises awareness within the donor community about issues such as: the conflation of sex work with trafficking; violence against sex workers, particularly state violence; human rights abuses against sex workers, including mandatory testing for sexually transmitted infections and forced rehabilitation; and the stigmatisation of sex workers and their partners and families.
Sex workers are the majority stake holders in the decision making process of the Red Umbrella Fund. An International Steering Committee comprised of sex workers, donors and policy experts will oversee the strategic vision of the Fund. A Global Programme Advisory Committee comprised of sex workers will make grant making decisions based upon transparent review processes. Mama Cash is administratively hosting the Fund.